April 30, 2020 / 7:02 AM / a month ago

KLM expects talks on financial aid to take weeks: Telegraaf

FILE PHOTO: A KLM Boeing 737-700 aircraft with registration PH-BGR, taxis to runway at the Chopin International Airport in Warsaw, Poland January 8, 2018. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - KLM, the Dutch subsidiary of airline group Air France-KLM (AIRF.PA), expects discussions with banks on financial aid will take weeks to conclude, Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported on Thursday.

“We are in discussions with banks, but it is quite complicated,” KLM Chief Executive Pieter Elbers told his staff in a webcast earlier this week, De Telegraaf said.

“On the one hand we talk to banks about the conditions for loans, on the other side we talk to the government, who has other ideas on conditions for these loans.”

The Dutch government last week said it would provide KLM with 2-4 billion euros (up to $4.34 billion) in financial aid to survive the COVID-19 pandemic, in the form of government loans and state guarantees on bank loans.

Choices for KLM were limited, De Telegraaf said, as international banks favoured working on the assistance for Air France in order to preserve their relationship with the French government.

KLM is expected to draw on its existing relationships with Dutch banks ING (INGA.AS) and Rabobank [RABOVR.UL], while the Dutch government is seen to rely on the help of state-owned ABN Amro (ABNd.AS).

KLM was not available for comment.

Reporting by Bart Meijer; editing by David Evans

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